OUR STORIES SHAPE WHO WE ARE
OUR STORIES SHAPE WHO WE ARE
The best speakers are storytellers. The best leaders are storytellers. The best brands are storytellers.
You're so close to your ideas that you aren't sure what makes sense anymore.
You know you're good at what you do, but trying to explain that impact has resulted in hours staring at a blank screen. This confusion—the second guessing—has you playing small.
You don't want to blend in but you've seen the confusion on peoples' faces when you try to lead with all the things that make you who you are.
You need someone who can give you an outsider's perspective, define your difference, and blend your story with your purpose.
"Kim offers a unique specialty that fills a gaping hole in the market. Working with her I felt really validated—she got my work, saw the expertise I was hoping to showcase, and reflected back how my network sees me—truly changing the way I show up as an expert in my field."
RACHELLE SIEBKE, THE ART OF LOVE AND MONEY
There’s a difference between being amazing at what you do and making an amazing living doing what you do.
For far too long I thought these things were mutually exclusive.
This meant keeping your quirks close and your story silent. To be successful, you had to fit in and work harder than anyone else.
BLENDING IN TO AVOID BEING SINGLED OUT
That was nonprofit culture, after all. You couldn’t strive for social impact and expect more. Self-sacrifice was the name of the game.
Over the course of ten years, managers continuously told me I was too impatient. Too questioning. Too direct.
Everywhere I looked, there was comfort in conformity.
So I learned to shrink myself and overthink every decision. I mistook easy for cheap and hard for expensive.
But when I started my first business in 2012—as a wedding planner—I began to understand that work didn’t always have to be this way. I saw entrepreneurs using their creativity every day and being rewarded handsomely for it.
And yet, I continued playing small.
I refrained from marketing myself because it felt self-indulgent. I was worried about my business being labeled as a hobby or a “fun little project.”
I kept my business and career separate, moonlighting as an entrepreneur ever so quietly.
That meant taking on any client interested in working with me. I undercharged and over-delivered. And, as you might guess, I reached burnout REAL quickly.
LEVERAGING MY STRENGTHS
In a last ditch effort to preserve my sanity (and my business), I started paying more attention to the feedback my couples were giving me. Ironically, it turned out the very things working against me in my 9-5 were the qualities clients were seeking most.
They saw my impatience as never settling for good enough.
They saw my questioning as the fastest way to diffuse a wedding day situation.
And they saw my directness as the ability to lead.
It took me seven years to unlearn the narrative I had about who I was. Once I owned it, that’s when things started to take off.
OWNING YOUR STORY
As business owners it’s easy to assume that everyone understands the value of what we do. That’s because we’re in it all day, every day. And when you’re at the center, it’s impossible to see your strengths as an outsider does.
So that’s what I’ve set out to do at Pattern of Purpose.
Using marketing research and storytelling, I help you identify the threads of what makes your work uniquely valuable and weave a message that leads your best customers directly to you.
01. The world doesn't need more noise.
It needs more connection. And the quickest way to a "me too" is through a story.
02. Clarity breeds confidence.
Simply put: if you can't tell you can't sell. Whether it's your idea, service, or perspective, the right words will move it forward.
03. Change is messy.
Transitioning from where you've been to where you want to be is a process. Sometimes things get more complicated before they all fall into place.
04. Everyone has a competitive advantage.
While we may not be able to spot our own genius, what comes naturally to some requires work for others. Name your strengths, own them, share them.
05. Messaging isn't one and done.
Pivots will happen, people evolve, and stories that once felt relevant won't anymore. You can change your message as often you change your life.
Kim Wensel is a messaging consultant, storyteller, and podcast host.
As the CEO of Pattern of Purpose, she helps leaders use stories to be more relatable and create connection with their audience.
In a world with a template for everything, Kim focuses on immersive experiences with her clients, drawing out their voice and highlighting what makes their brand truly unique.
After spending a decade in nonprofits persuading individuals to donate money in exchange for nothing but a good feeling, she now helps entrepreneurs communicate their vision in a similar fashion.
A former degree collector, Kim has a Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech. Based in Virginia, when she’s not word-smithing, she can be found hosting a dance party with her two young kids or planning her next adults-only getaway with her husband, Brent.